Date:Friday April 18 2008
I think that in normal circumstances, everyone would have forgotten yesterday's Everton v Chelsea game in a few days time. Chelsea laboured to a terrible, dire, unconvincing win against a terrible, dire, unconvincing Everton side.
The match itself may still be forgotten but the press conference won't be. Old Uncle Avram, instead of being relieved by hanging on in the title race, turned all sour and refused to answer questions sensibly.
Here's the transcript, plucked from the Guardian.
Reporter: A deserved win, Avram?
What particularly pleased you about the performance? 'I'm pleased.'
What in particular pleased you? After a delay: 'I don't know.'
Is it a relief to win here? 'Yes.'
You seem lost for words. Are you more satisfied with the performance or the win? 'Both.'
You seem distracted. Do you have a problem? 'No problem.'
Is there an issue? 'No. I'm ok. I have nothing to say.'
Do you have a message for the Chelsea fans? 'You represent the Chelsea fans?'
They must believe you are still in the title race, do you have a message for them? 'No message.'
Does this result mean you are back in it now? 'I don't know.'
You seem less voluble than usual. Is it because of Sky TV moving the game to a Thursday? 'Maybe it's because of you. I don't know. I am OK.'
You are saying that you don't know if you are still in the title race? 'No.'
Is it easier to say nothing, Avram? 'I don't what to answer. It is a good question. I don't know what to answer.'
Is this because Sky? 'No. Sky is OK. I enjoy watching them.'
Is it a protest against newspapers? 'No. Why?'
Why else would you come in and refuse to answer our questions? 'I answer every question.'
You are two points behind Manchester United and you don't know if you are still in the title race? 'No.'
Have you told the players that you don't know if you are back in the title race? 'What I tell the players is something else. You want me to tell you what I say to the players?'
We just want you to answer the question. Are you in the title race? 'I don't know.'
Would you not like to gain some positive publicity for the result rather than this bizarre silence? 'I'm sorry. You can write whatever you want and I can answer what I want.'
Have you ever played the yes/no game, Avram? No answer.
I'd say it's brilliant, almost as good as Benitez's petulance when he was told to shut up about money and focus on his team. It looks like old Avram has lost it, refusing to answer the usual questions about the performance and all that. All this a day after he boasted Chelsea are a big club and would have no trouble luring Kaka and Messi to Stamford Bridge. He's cracked, it's clear.
What is the reason? The press' constant criticism? Maybe but every manager has to live with it in this country except of course Arsene Wenger who can do no wrong in the eyes of the journalists. I'd say that watching his dire team huffing and puffing their way in terrible games affected his mind. No wonder: watching yesterday's game I felt a strong urge to yell and throw things out of the window, it was soooo depressing. But, and this is the most important thing, I resisted the urge.
Maybe if poor Avram had tried to answer these questions in full sentences, he would have turned into a full, raving lunatic and proceeded to beat up journalists in the press room. Who knows?
Date:Friday April 18 2008
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